Capitol Alert

All but three CalChamber ‘job killers’ died

An electric car recharges its batteries at KB Homes' Double Zero house 3.0 in El Dorado Hills on September 30, 2014. Senate Bill 350 envisioned a surge in electric cars by reducing petroleum-based auto fuel, but that provision was removed due to stiff opposition in the Assembly.
An electric car recharges its batteries at KB Homes' Double Zero house 3.0 in El Dorado Hills on September 30, 2014. Senate Bill 350 envisioned a surge in electric cars by reducing petroleum-based auto fuel, but that provision was removed due to stiff opposition in the Assembly. rbenton@sacbee.com

All but three of the 19 bills that had been labeled “job killers” by the California Chamber of Commerce during the 2015 legislative session either stalled or were amended to remove the epithet, the business organization says in a new tally.

The chamber’s top target was Senate Bill 350, which would have imposed ambitious new standards on reducing carbon dioxide emissions for 2030. The measure, carried by Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León and backed by Gov. Jerry Brown, stalled in the Assembly as about 20 moderate Democrats opposed its call for a 50 percent reduction in petroleum-based auto fuel.

De León and Brown dropped the fuel provision, the chamber removed its “job killer” tag and the bill was passed. A companion measure, Senate Bill 32, which would have set carbon reduction goals for 2050, also stalled in the Assembly.

The California Chamber of Commerce says it has more than 13,000 members.

Brown has already signed one bill on the CalChamber hit list, Assembly Bill 359 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, aimed at protecting jobs of grocery workers when their stores change hands. And in the final throes of the session, two others reached Brown’s desk.

The two survivors are Senate Bill 406 by Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, which would expand the state’s family leave law, and Assembly Bill 465 by Assemblyman Roger Hernández, D-Baldwin Park, which would make it more difficult for employers to have labor disputes resolved in arbitration rather in the courts.

All other bills on the CalChamber’s list remain technically alive, since this is the first year of a two-year session, and may be taken up again in 2016. Many of the bills are tax increases or constitutional amendments that would require two-thirds legislative votes and therefore support from at least a few Republican legislators.

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